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Moín container terminal under construction

  • 6.5 million cubic metres of sand
  • 40 hectares land reclamation
  • 1.8 million tonnes of rock
  • 2,200 metres long breakwater

To maintain and strengthen Costa Rica’s position as an economic leader, the country’s government has awarded APM Terminals a contract for a new container terminal in Moín. In cooperation with the Van Oord – BAM International consortium, a world-class, high-productivity, and environmentally sustainable container terminal is being constructed in one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful coastal areas. With specialised technical knowledge, the consortium is meeting the challenges presented by, for example, varying soil and sea conditions and strict construction requirements relating to seismic activity.

In cooperation with the Van Oord – BAM International consortium, we are working on a world-class container terminal on the Caribbean coast. The engineering and construction capabilities of these Dutch contractors were the decisive factor in APM Terminals’ decision to award this multidisciplinary project to them.

Kenneth Waugh, Managing Director at APM Terminals Costa Rica
Kenneth Waugh, Managing Director at APM Terminals Costa Rica

Pushing the limits

In 2015 side stone dumping vessel HAM 601 began with the construction of the 2,200 metres long breakwater. Trailing suction hopper dredger Volvox Atalanta also started immediately in order to get the 6.5 million cubic metres of sand which is needed for the land reclamation. In addition, Van Oord deploys cutter suction dredger Castor to remove stiff clay and to recycle the material that ends up outside the projected boundaries of the terminal area. Because it involves so many of these interdependencies between project phases and their associated activities, the Moín container terminal project is a good example of a complex project. Project Director Hans van Meeuwen explains: ‘From dredging to the construction of a breakwater and ground improvement works. It all happens simultaneously and in close proximity.’

In 2015 and 2016, the first contours of the 40 hectare container terminal were revealed. A first step in the right direction. To meet the project’s tight schedule of only 35 months, the consortium continues to push its limits.

Mark Roelofs, Area Director America & Africa  at Van Oord
Mark Roelofs, Area Director America & Africa at Van Oord

Environmental care

When managing a project site in a vulnerable environment like this, a lot needs to be taken into account. ‘Because no matter how fast we need to carry out the construction works, we don’t want to have an adverse impact on the environment and cause damage to nature, marine life, wildlife, etc.,’ states Project Director Hans van Meeuwen. ‘Turtles use this area as a nesting area, so we ensure that - despite our presence - they still feel welcome to lay their eggs. To achieve this, we carefully select the colour, intensity and the direction of the construction lights.’ He continues: ‘To protect the eggs from illegal hunting, we collect and transfer them to a secure hatching area we’ve set up. When the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are taken back to the beach, where they start their journey to the ocean.’ Each turtle nesting season, around 10,000 turtles are born and released.
Interested in a personal story of Van Oord's Engineering & Environmental Manager? Read Anneke Hibma's testimonal.

Local benefits

Besides sustainability, improving the local economy is a key driver of the project, both during execution and after completion. Project Director Hans van Meeuwen explains: ‘To encourage this, we buy as many local products as possible: from food for the canteen to construction materials such as rock, cement, and steel reinforcement. If possible and available, we hire local employees and we improve their employability through on-the-job training in construction work and health and safety standards.’ By completing this kind of future-changing project, export nations like Costa Rica – and their inhabitants – will be ready to take their place in the future world economy.   

Additional information
  • Start date
    January 2015
  • End date
    December 2017
  • Location
    Moín, Costa Rica
  • Business Unit
    Dredging
  • Client
    APM Terminals